Creditor's Bill

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An equitable proceeding initiated by a person who has obtained—and is entitled to enforce—a money judgment against a debtor to collect the payment of a debt that cannot be reached through normal legal procedures.

A plaintiff might, for example, win a lawsuit against a defendant whereupon the defendant might be ordered to pay damages. In the event that the defendant does not pay promptly, the usual way for the plaintiff to obtain payment is to pay a certain designated fee to the sheriff who would seize the defendant's property, sell it, and pay the plaintiff with the proceeds. If, for example, the defendant only has property that is worth less than the plaintiff's judgment, the plaintiff creditor might pursue the defendant's rights to collect money from others. The person can then initiate a creditor's bill, also known as creditor's suit, requesting that the court authorize a way to obtain the money affected by such rights. Such funds as those that come from corporate stock, annuity checks, growing crops, and money owed to the debtor from another person can all be subjected to creditors' suits. A creditor's bill cannot, however, be used to obtain a liquor license, property in another state, or future unearned wages or salary.